Living with eczema can be a challenge. It is unpredictable because you never know when or where it can pop up next. So being ready to deal with it at any time is important. But just because you don’t currently have a flare-up, doesn’t mean that you should let down your guard. Here are some ways to treat it and to lessen the chance of new flare-ups.
The cold weather can damage your skin, particularly the skin on your hands. When you are outside in the winter, make sure you put on a pair of gloves. In particular, either cotton gloves or leather gloves will work the best. Stay away from wool gloves, as they may hurt more than they will help you.
You should always use sunscreen. This is even more important when you have eczema. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 so you don’t get a sunburn. Having a sunburn can make your skin even itchier than usual. You could use sunscreens specifically formulated for the face on the entire body. These are generally more gentle to use.
If you have eczema, rubbing your skin with a towel to get it dry may aggravate your eczema and lead to a flare-up. Rubbing produces friction which can irritate sensitive skin areas. It also removes your body’s naturals oils. When drying you body after bathing, use a towel to pat your skin until it’s partially dry. While your skin is still a bit damp, apply a moisturizer to lock in the bath’s moisture.
Don’t cut off all exposure to the sun. Your eczema could be a result of a Vitamin D deficiency, so blocking out the sun entirely is not a good idea. You should be getting at least 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight a day sans sunscreen. Don’t get any more than that though or you could burn.
Use an antibiotic ointment on severely cracked skin. This can prevent infections from forming. It also serves as a moisturizer. Do this sparingly though; prolonged use of antibiotic ointments can render them ineffective. If you do have an infection, you should consult your doctor, who may give you an oral antibiotic.
Remember to moisturize your skin. Moisturizing your skin regularly is one of the best ways you can combat eczema. Look for thick, unscented moisturizers that will not aggravate your skin. Too many chemicals or additives in a moisturizer can be counterproductive. Apply it on a daily basis, especially after taking a shower or bath.
Try to avoid taking hot baths and showers. The extreme temperatures of the water can actually cause eczema flare-ups. The humidity and steam can also dry your skin out, which can make eczema uncomfortable. Try using water that is room temperature any time you shower or take a bath.
As you may already know, eczema is something that has to be lived with. There is no definitive cure. It can only be treated by making changes in your life and dealing with it. So keep the tips from above in mind and make the changes that can help you control your eczema.